Jerry Cabin Shelter to Erwin, Tennessee

On Saturday morning I left Jerry Cabin Shelter at 7:00 and had a nice uneventful hike. I did see a small snake on the trail (non-poisonous) that reminded me to be careful where I step.
About 1:30 I saw a sign on a tree saying that there would be trail magic until 2:30 at the point where the AT goes under I-26. So I hot-footed it and got there at 2:10. When I walked up trail angel Quiet Paul asked me, “Are you sick?” I had heard in Hot Springs that Norovirus was making hikers sick but I had not been affected…yet. There were six other hikers there and they had all been sick and were waiting for a shuttle into Erwin to take a zero and recuperate. Quiet Paul fixed me a big plate of scrambled eggs and hash browns and I drank a Mountain Dew. I had a good cell signal there so I stayed for a while and made phone calls to my family.
The rest of the day was very scenic with a lot of vistas, especially the 360 degree panorama at Big Bald.
By 7:00 p.m. I had reached a nice campsite at Whistling Gap, so I set up camp there. There were four other hikers there – Chaser, Prometheus, and two guys from Rhode Island.
At about 4:00 a.m. I woke up feeling queasy and thought, “Uh oh, I think I have the virus.” I took two Ciproflaxin just in case it was bacterial but they didn’t do any good. At 6:00 I forced myself to start packing up. Even the simplest tasks, like taking down my tent, were hard – I was incredibly weak.
It was 13.5 miles to Erwin and I decided that I would prefer to be miserable in town in a bed than in my tent out in the woods. It took me 7.5 hours to walk the 13.5 miles! The uphill sections were miserable and I had to stop frequently to rest – something I normally don’t have to do. The only thing I ate all day was two Pop Tarts and half a Snickers bar. I did drink plenty of water, knowing that I needed to stay well hydrated.
At 2:30 I arrived at Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel and got a single cabin. I caught the 3:00 shuttle to the grocery store, took a two-hour nap, did laundry, and then went to bed. I had a fever and chills during the night but woke up feeling 75% better.
I caught the 9:00 shuttle into town to get a light breakfast at JD’s Market – a gas station, convenience store, and diner. I’m back at the hostel now and I’m going to take my first zero day of the hike so that I can rest and get my strength back.
The Princess is going to meet me soon. I am really looking forward to seeing her. She is bringing me some things that I want to swap out. It’s interesting how quickly you figure out what what works and what doesn’t. For instance, I have two big one-liter water bottles. All I need is one of the bottles plus a one-liter Platypus plastic bottle that is super light and rolls up very small.
Here are photos of Quiet Paul and me on Big Bald.

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About The Man in My Shoes

Since retiring in 2012 I am enjoying the freedom of being able to make my own decisions about how I spend my time and am taking advantage of the opportunities that I have to spend more time with my family, explore, learn, and pursue my dreams and goals. I look forward to writing about these pursuits and hope you enjoy reading about them.
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13 Responses to Jerry Cabin Shelter to Erwin, Tennessee

  1. Joe says:

    Rock on! Sounds like you got ahead of the virus, life in a close community. Before you know it, you’ll be Daleville! Thought I’d hike with you for a few days but I’d just slow you down. I look forward to slacking you a couple of days.

    • I guess I caught up to the virus. Oh well, I guess it’s just the first of the challenges! I’d really appreciate the slacking near Lex and maybe we can do a short day together. I’ve learned a lot and have some great ideas for you when your turn comes.

  2. Annette says:

    I am so sorry that you got sick…..never having heard about norovirus, I googled and read about it. You must have felt really bad, and I hope you are almost well by now. Take a couple of zeros if you need them. I know you will be happy to meet up with Cathy.:)

  3. Jim Karis says:

    Tim, every morning I look forward to reading your blog and , and of course, admire your stamina and determination. This time reading about Norovirus I have to admit got somewhat worried, No, I did not worry just because Annette did, but just reading being weak, a virus and on the AP did it. Glad you recovered and the Princess will see you soon. Jim

  4. So glad that Cathy can meet you. Take care and don’t push it until you’re 100%.

  5. Steve McElhannon says:

    Test

  6. Steve McElhannon says:

    Hope you’re feeling better today Tim. I read up on the virus on google. Sounds like a rough 24-48 hours. Didn’t realize how contagious that bug is. Must of been the night in the shelter with 18 of your closest AP trail buddies. Take care.

  7. I’m leqrning a lot from you walkers. The Norovirus is something I hadn’t counted on. Good to see your spireit stays high. Keep it up; love listening.

  8. Lyndsay sacre says:

    Hope you are feeling better by now and you have got some strength back – say a big Hi to ‘Princesss’ from me as well when you see her ! !

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